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San Francisco's Bay Lights Are a New Tourist Attraction and Hotels Take Notice

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/24/2013, 1:00 PM

Since March, San Francisco's Bay Bridge has been bursting with light nightly from dusk to 2am. At 1.8 miles long and in places 500 feet tall, the Bay Lights is now the largest LED light display in the world. It's been a big year for moving LED displays on American landmarks. Last fall, New York City's Empire State Building got its own dancing display, although it is usually static and rare...

SeaWorld Unveils 'Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin,' Its Big Summer 2013 Attraction

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/24/2013, 1:30 AM

On Friday, SeaWorld opens its new attraction, the multimillion-dollar Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, which Frommers.com named one of the most hotly anticpated amusement park additions of the season. Although it is at heart an animal habitat for some 250 gentoo, Adelie, king, and rockhopper penguins, the faux-icy pavilion also hosts a ride that, at least in execution, is an Orlando innovati...

Time to Rethink Tropical Travel Plans for Summer? Federal Forecasters Issue Their Hurricane Predictions

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/23/2013, 10:30 PM

"This is your warning," said Kathryn Sullivan, administrator of the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And what a warning it is: today, the NOAA is prediced 13-20 named Atlantic Storms for the upcoming months. It's saying that 7 to 11 of those could become hurricanes, with 3 to 6 of those reaching 111 mph and higher (which are the worst categories of hurricanes). How sure...

Pennsylvania's Crayola Experience, a Family Favorite, Revamps in Time for the Summer Season

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/22/2013, 4:45 PM

On Memorial Day, the newly renvoated Crayola Experience, in Easton, Penn., on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, reopens with brand new slate of hands-on family activities.  Crayons aren't really made at this 60,000-square-foot Crayola property — that's in another Pennsylvania town. But this family destination, located on the main town square of a town with Revolutionary War roots,...

Pennsylvania's Crayola Experience, a Family Favorite, Revamps in Time for the Summer Season

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/22/2013, 4:45 PM

On Memorial Day, the newly renvoated Crayola Experience, in Easton, Penn., on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, reopens with brand new slate of hands-on family activities.  Crayons aren't really made at this 60,000-square-foot Crayola property — that's in another Pennsylvania town. But this family destination, located on the main town square of a town with Revolutionary War roots,...

Disney World in Orlando Rolls Out Its Own User-Generated Reviews: A Good Idea?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/22/2013, 2:15 AM

Walt Disney World in Orlando has just turned on its new beta site, Reviews.DisneyWorld.Disney.Go.Com, where the vacation giant is soliciting user-generated reviews from customers. Right now, most of the reviews are glowing, which in Disney's Cyber World means a rating of — you guessed it — five Mouse Heads. "For a moment, you feel as if you are in Italy," gushes one review of an Italian re...

Good Luck Chuck! Senator Schumer of New York Takes The Airlines To Task For Change Fees

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/21/2013, 12:30 PM

In 2012, the major American airlines made $2.6 billion in change fees. And that's quite enough, says Senator Chuck Schumer of New York State. On Sunday, the Senator called out Delta Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and American Airlines for their recent change fee hikes. "With the growth of other fees, flying has already become prohibitively expensive for many, and the airlines, a...

How, When, and Why, I Learned Not to Rely on "User-Generated Content" in Publishing My Travel Guides

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/20/2013, 2:15 PM

     The letter seemed to be legitimate.  It was hand-written with great sincerity by a reader of "Europe on $5 a Day" who was eager to pass on a secret of smart travel to his fellow Americans.  It told about a nightclub in Paris with a spectacular stage show and a sky-high admission charge for persons seated at tables.       But, he wrote, if you stood at the bar and simply ordered a chea...

The Airlines Sometimes Profit when the TSA Does its Job Inefficiently

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/20/2013, 2:00 PM

On Saturday morning at JFK, the line for passengers to have their I.D.s inspected by the Transportation Security Administration was extraordinarily long, and the lines to go through the actual checkpoints were just as awful. The person checking passengers' tickets at the entrance to the whole mess did not work for the TSA, and he heard person after person exclaim that they were unlikely to mak...

Go to Canada for $40? Kangaride.com Uses the Web to Make Ride Shares Safer

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/17/2013, 10:30 PM

With summer travel inflating the price of transit, it's worth looking into alternatives. A Canadian website called Kangaride matchmakes passengers and drivers with affordable ride shares in both Canada and the United States. Anyone who has extra space in their car and a road trip on their calendar can pick up some extra cash by picking up an extra passenger. Drivers set the prices, which a...

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